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Rural mums - how do you keep your dc's aware of the wider world?

(45 Posts)
cashmeresox Wed 29-Jul-09 09:32:35

Hi there,

My 2 dc will be attending a brilliant local primary starting this sept and next. I have always travelled but my dh hasn't and I am really keen for my little ones to have a strong awareness of the wider world. Ideally they would have the chance to study for the International Baccalaureate but that just isn't a possibility. We love our rural life and the kids are having a great childhood in an old fashioned kind of way but I don't want them to never look beyond what we have got... Any suggestions for augmenting the state system with a flavour of internationalism?

ArcticLemming Wed 29-Jul-09 09:37:20

Am watching this thread with interest as have similar issues (although mine are still pre-schoolers!). I work with a very multi-cultural group of colleages in the nearest city which helps slightly, but am still concerned that their experience will be a bit limited.

cashmeresox Wed 29-Jul-09 10:10:59

Glad to hear someone else thinks this is worth thinking about... I work with a very interesting, not so multi-cultural group but we are really quite rural. I know that obviously our interests (well mine really) will transfer but even so. Hope there is some inspiration out there - you can only go so far on your own can't you?!

cashmeresox Wed 29-Jul-09 10:25:08

shame the IB doesn't have a 'Summer School for Bumpkins' programme...

notagrannyyet Wed 29-Jul-09 16:35:29

Don't see why you would think rural children have less awareness of the wider world than town or city children. We live in a rural area but our county town is less than 15 miles away and it's one of the most multi cultural in the UK. We do go there occasionally! You get them in a car or on a bus and take them places. I feel much more for inner city parents who live in flats with no gardens/fields for DC to play in.

ProfYaffle Wed 29-Jul-09 16:43:38

I largely rely on Mama Mirabelle grin

pointydog Wed 29-Jul-09 16:50:07

let them watch a lot of telly

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 29-Jul-09 16:53:56

We have plenty of friends & relatives from abroad and at the moment they go to nursery in a university nursery where the other children are pretty diverse. What with this and the fact that they watch far too much tv I don't see it ever being an issue!

giantkatestacks Wed 29-Jul-09 16:55:26

Am not sure if this is what you mean by the wider world but my nephew has just been staying with me in london from a rural setting and hasnt really any idea of what you can or cant say about people (racially) or about behaving in a more 'quiet' way in town.

This may be just my sisters rubbish parenting though ahem...wink

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 29-Jul-09 16:58:03

I know what you mean, my brother's DP has a mixed race son, my nephews comments to their mother was that he was chocolate.

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 29-Jul-09 17:03:27

I think a lot of children come up with inappropriate things around race at some time or other, no matter where they grew up - my brother who lives in Leeds has a similar story about his son who said something dodgy despite the fact that his best friend is black, as does my friend who brought her dd up in Brixton!
Course, if they're still doing it when they're 10 as opposed to 4 there may be a problem....

FiveGoMadInDorset Wed 29-Jul-09 17:05:59

Thery were 8 and 6 at the time.

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 29-Jul-09 17:07:34

You would certainly expect them to know better by 8 and probably by 6....

geekgirl Wed 29-Jul-09 17:08:36

send them to our school grin
'tis a tiny school in the Yorks. Dales but 60% of pupils are American from nearby military base. We also have Iraqis and Poles. Having all those Americans does cause the school huge problems, but at least the local children get to go to school with black and hispanic children... mine are completely colour blind in that respect. I was at the airport with dd1 a while ago and she said 'oh there's 'S' from my class over there'. I said 'where' and she said 'there! in the pink jacket!' me:'where?' dd: "There!! She's holding a backpack!". Turns out 'S' & parents were the only black family in a departure hall full of white people...

I am not sure what sort of things you could for cultural enrichment... maybe take them to the nearest big city on regular occasions? Go to curry houses? [grasps at straws]

giantkatestacks Wed 29-Jul-09 17:08:47

kathy - yes my nephew is 10...he just seems to really notice race and difference more than my ds - earlier today we walked past a really obvious tranny and he just stared - so much so that the woman asked him what he was looking at.

I think its just lack of exposure to the 'other' and less knowledge about politeness iyswim.

notagrannyyet Wed 29-Jul-09 17:21:50

Don't recall any of my 6 DC, (all brought up in a small village) ever commenting on skin colour.
They have made embarrassing comments about fat people, people with purple hair, and people with facial piercings and tatoos. But by far the worst was when they couldn't take their eyes off an elderly gent with only one arm swimming lenghts at the local pool. They were small children at the time. It's what little ones do.

cheesesarnie Wed 29-Jul-09 17:22:05

god i hope that others reading this dont think all rural families are naive and racist bumbkins!

flatcapandpearls Wed 29-Jul-09 17:24:58

I think it is an issue, since teaching down here I notice that my students live very sheltered lives and have little idea of what goes on outside of Dorset. Although to be honest when I taught up north although they lived in a town it was a very monocultural town and they were very culturally unaware in a different way.

pointydog Wed 29-Jul-09 17:26:49

rural kids don;t seem to be half as sreetwise as urban ones. But I don't think it matters that much. They grown up, they become more independent, they go out to discover the world. They decide how much of the world they want to discover.

flatcapandpearls Wed 29-Jul-09 17:28:28

I agree pointy, the kids here are generally very unstreetwise and tend to live quite pampered lives.

kathyis6incheshigh Wed 29-Jul-09 17:28:35

They are less streetwise but more likely to know how to handle themselves in a field of cows smile

flatcapandpearls Wed 29-Jul-09 17:31:19

My daughter has only been down here for a year and I am amazed at the difference in her already. She is also very confident in a field of cows.

BonsoirAnna Wed 29-Jul-09 17:33:02

I think this is a very good question, and that the OP is wise to ask it early in their lives.

I think that internationalism is important, but so is exposure to the full range of urban lifestyles and culture. Take your children often to visit London, take them to Paris, New York, Sydney etc.

notagrannyyet Wed 29-Jul-09 17:40:00

Rural kids grow up leave home, travel etc. Just like everyone else.

I don't think country children lead such sheltered lives.....I feel my teenage sons were often safer on a night out in our nearest city than in the local market town.
Alcohol flows freely in both but in the cities there are far more police to deal with any trouble.

notagrannyyet Wed 29-Jul-09 17:42:07

And in the villages police are as rare as hens teeth!

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